I guess this counts as a late recap of the final two days of Garden Writers. Since arriving home late Monday night (13th), I taught my herbaceous ornamental plant ID lab at Iowa State and then flew to St. Louis on Wednesday for the a talk at the Missouri Botanical Garden that night. I’m back in the garden for the weekend tying up some fall planting obligations (plants aren’t exactly the most patient things when it comes to the subject of sinking their roots deep in ground). It’s been a crazy spell!
I’m also holding back laughter to put this blog post together. Sunday night will be remembered as the night of tomfoolery, and the memories of cajoling and rabble rousing with horticultural friends ring mostly clear from the night before. I enjoyed the company of friends, new and old, at a fab little restaurant called Smoke, situated right next to The Belmont Hotel. Smoke appropriately bills itself as an “old fashioned smokehouse” that combines seasonal flavors and flair “that will please the foodie and the come-as-you-are crowd.” It goes without saying that I’m an unabashed foodie that loves to palate the goodness made in passionate kitchens–like this one.
A few of the gardens of day 3 could be best described as spaces of conspicuous consumption. On full show, these grand gardens surpassed the reality most of us live in, while creating, albeit overtly contrived environments that dazzled the senses. I honestly have no wish to garden in spaces like these, but appreciate the fact that some people do. Gardening in that sense accommodates us all.
But then others like a renovated pumphouse-turned-chic condo and modern, minimalist garden opened my eyes to a very real future of garden design. This richness-lite technique represents the tip of the proverbial iceberg for how to design small urban gardens in a compelling, yet functional way with cool plants.
The gardens of day 4 flipped the coin and went more artistic, putting at times a Bohemian spin on garden-making as a counterface to the corporate idea of outdoor living the day before. In these little boutiques of creativity, I felt much more at home–in the company of like-minded souls who wanted to create intimate, passion-rich gardening spaces instead of billboard-ish placards for extravagance and crotons.
The photo gallery moves from conspicuous consumption through La Vie Boheme, just as I’ve described above!
For those looking for more provocative thoughts from my head via GWA, you’ll have to stay tuned for another post. I’ve got pages of notes to digest and cull for any portentous ideas! And sleep calls…